Rapids Notebook: Smith says lineup adjustments ahead
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids were back in training on Tuesday after a well-deserved break and ahead of a hectic schedule that will see them play seven games in 23 days.
First up will be the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on Friday night, and it'll be all-hands-on-deck in a clash against the league leaders. The Rapids, though, will be without defender Drew Moor, whose record-breaking run of consecutive league games will come to an end because of card accumulation.
Rapids head coach Gary Smith admitted it will be an odd sensation not picking his ever-reliable player this weekend.
“He’s such a versatile individual, and it means I have to change some of my thoughts, and it means that another body has to come in and get the job done,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “It will be very strange and we will miss him because he’s been such a big part of the successes we have had.”
Left back Anthony Wallace will not be an option, either, as he continues to recover from injury. In training on Tuesday, Danny Earls lined up in an otherwise typical Rapids back four.
A number of key players were absent from training as they are either still involved in international play or traveling back from games. However, all four — Jeff Larentowicz (US), Steward Ceus (Haiti), Omar Cummings (Jamaica) and Sanna Nyassi (Gambia) — are expected to be available for the LA game.
Smith was hoping to see midfielder Larentowicz play in Tuesday’s US game against Belgium. By halftime Larentowicz had not yet made it onto the pitch, making Smith’s viewing choices a little easier given the England vs. Wales Euro 2012 qualifier was happening at the same time.
“I’d certainly like to see Jeff play and see how he does,” Smith said prior to the game. “If he’s not involved, then my eagerness to see the US play will diminish somewhat. And then it would be nice to watch England play.”
Larentowicz entered the game in the 76th minute, replacing José Francisco Torres. England, meanwhile, struggled to pull out a 1-0 home victory over 117th-ranked Wales at Wembley.
Champions League resumes
Just four days after the LA Galaxy game comes a crucial CONCACAF Champions League matchup against Mexican side Santos Laguna at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Smith said he's well aware of the reports claiming that former US coach Bob Bradley has been tabbed as the next head coach of the Mexican side.
“It would be quite exciting, having achieved what he has and running into him in the Champions League," Smith said. "That would be quite an experience.”